Pro Wrestling's most unlikely World Champions (Part I)
Bradshaw raised his game almost from the get-go, dressing the part of a businessman and playing his real life persona only with the volume turned obnoxiously up. His first match with Guerrero was an extremely bloody affair at Judgment Day 2004. JBL won by disqualification.
The next month at WWE’s re-up of The Great American Bash, the bitter rivals rematched for the WWE Title. In an unbelievable twist at the time, JBL just barely defeated Guerrero in a four corners match to become the WWE Champion. In what seemed to be pegged as a transitional reign turned out to be a heck of a run for the former tag team specialist--nearly one year to be exact.
Looking back, JBL could have been booked as a much stronger champion, but his promos and in-ring psychology helped make his last wrestling years WWE Hall of Fame worthy. It’s just a slight shame that the JBL persona wasn’t born prior to injuries getting the best of him, but hey--better later than never.
Sheamus: WWE Champion (2009, 2010)
No, it isn’t unlikely seeing a guy with a great look and good in-ring ability like Sheamus become WWE Champion. It’s just unlikely how fast it happened.
The Celtic Warrior made his WWE debut on the ECW brand in the Fall of 2009. He came over to the RAW brand on Oct. 26, 2009. After destroying Jamie Noble and Jerry “The King” Lawler, Sheamus won a match to become the no. one contender for John Cena’s WWE Title at the Dec. 2010 pay-per-view TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.
By hook or crook, Sheamus pulled off the upset of the decade, defeating Cena to become the first Irish born WWE Champion.
Here’s the catch though: Cena was never pinned or submitted. The bout was a tables match. Whether you think Cena slipped off the top rope into the table or was pushed off is irrelevant. Sheamus could call himself WWE Champion after the match and that's all that mattered.
Unfortunately for Sheamus, his first and second WWE Title reigns were booked horrendously, as he was portrayed as a joke of a champion--never once getting a clean pinfall victory over his biggest rivals in Cena and Randy Orton.
If Sheamus doesn’t regain the WWE Title in the future and put together a respectable run that’s longer than three months, he will absolutely go down as the worst two-time WWE Champion in history, fella.
Rey Mysterio: World Heavyweight Champion (2006)
Rey Mysterio is one of the most popular wrestling stars of all-time and for good reason.
Mysterio’s high-flying moves and determination have won him fans all across the globe. "The Biggest Little Man” could have only dreamed of calling himself World Heavyweight Champion after a decade as a mainstay of the WCW/WWE cruiserweight division.